There are a number of ways you can raise awareness and encourage new people to get involved with your organisation, by which we mean any community club, group or organisation that is involved in the delivery of physical or sport.
This section covers the wide range of tools and platforms you can use to promote your organisation and its activities, often referred to as channels. Choosing the right channel for what your organisation wants to promote and who you’re promoting it to is important, as it impacts how many people you might be able to reach through your efforts.
Today, there is a much bigger emphasis on digital marketing but that doesn’t mean that the more traditional channels, like an advert in the local paper or flyers in local venues, aren’t useful. In fact, many organisations can find that using a mix of marketing channels is the best choice for them. To help you get started on identifying the best marketing channels for you, check out our advice below.
The following questions are useful to bear in mind when thinking about your marketing options:
Who are you trying to engage?
Different groups of people might prefer some types of marketing channels over others, so think about what you want to share and with who. If possible, speak to people within the groups you want to engage with about the channels they use most and where they would expect to find information about your organisation.
What are you trying to achieve?
Some marketing channels are better suited to specific objectives. There are lots of types of information and content that you can share to help get people interested in your organisation, so using different channels is often good practice. For example, you might want to run a marketing campaign to recruit more participants or volunteers – the channels you use to do this could include your website, social media platforms, leaflet drops in the local area and local press.
How will you maintain consistency?
It is good practice to make sure all of your marketing has a similar ‘feel’ or tone of voice, so that it is clear it all comes from the same place. If you are using a combination of marketing methods, this becomes harder but also more valuable, so consider ways to keep things consistent.
How will you keep people interested?
Internal marketing and communications, which are shared with your existing participants, volunteers and other stakeholders, are as important as your external marketing. Consider what you can do through your marketing to keep people interested all-year-round, especially if you are a seasonal organisation.
How will you assess whether something is working?
Your organisation’s time and money is valuable, so avoiding wasting these on something that isn’t working is important. When you choose your methods, try to think about how you will measure success. This might be different across different channels. On social media, for example, this might be measured by engagement with your posts (likes or comments), whereas keeping track of hits on your website after placing an advert in the paper might be a good indicator of its success.
It’s important not to overstretch yourselves when it comes to marketing, so make sure you think about how much money, time and resources you have available to you first.
Whilst many digital marketing methods are free, print media (such as placing an advert or creating posters/flyers) is likely to have a cost attached to it. Other methods might be more time consuming, like making sure your website and social media are always up to date.
To help you plan your approach, we recommend reviewing the below considerations:
- Previous experience: What has your organisation done in the past? Did these activities achieve what you set out to do?
- Budget: Can any money be invested in promotion activities? If so, how much?
- Time: How much time commitment will marketing activities require?
- Skills: Do you have someone with the necessary skills available? If not, how can this be addressed?